The rumors connecting Chelsea to left back Filipe Luis don't seem to make a whole lot of sense at first glance. After all, during the FFP era, signing players who probably only have 3-4 effective years left in their careers for large fees and relatively high wages doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. That strategy has (supposedly) left Manchester City and PSG needing to alter their spending habits going forward, or face harsher sanctions from UEFA. Chelsea, on the other hand, have done a nice job if late in building a team in a more cost-effective manner, and to suddenly change course so dramatically would be a bit of a surprise.
Look at a potential deal for the Brazilian fullback a bit more closely, however, and you might begin to feel differently about the negative financial repercussions. First of all, what are the most recent rumors pricing the Atletico man at? Most reports would have you believe that Luis has a buyout of £19 million, and that Chelsea would be willing to double his current wage to about £78,000 per week. As the player is 29-years old, I'm going to guess that Chelsea will draw the line at a four-year contract, which after amortization, would bring the FFP hit for the player to £8.8 million per season. That seems like an awful lot for a player who might be a part-time player by year four and won't have any re-sale value at the end of his deal.
Trying to find a comparable move to potentially singing Filipe Luis is difficult in recent years, but some parallels can be drawn by looking at the signing of Raul Meireles. The Portuguese midfielder was purchased at a point in his career where he was expected to have little to no resale value at the end of his contract, though Chelsea worked around that by selling him after one year. He was a "win-now" type of player, he cost about 12 million to buy, and he had a fairly substantial wage of about 85,000.
There's a pretty substantial difference in the type of money Chelsea make now compared to during the 2011/12 season. During that campaign, Chelsea earned about 260 million, meaning the expenses attributed to Meireles counted for approximately 2.96% of a break-even budget. Since that time, Chelsea's revenues have increased dramatically. If the Blues were to sign Luis on a 4-year deal at the rumored figures, he'd account for only 2.58% of a break-even budget based on the numbers we had this past season. For a guy that would likely start the majority of our games, that wouldn't exactly be a crippling figure. In fact, it's probably a bit of a bargain.
Chelsea can easily afford to add Filipe Luis and comply with FFP, even before taking into account the additional revenue earned by allowing David Luiz to join PSG. From a FFP perspective, he'd actually cost only slightly more than Alberto Moreno or Ricardo Rodriguez likely would, while he'd be considerably cheaper than Luke Shaw. If Jose Mourinho and the board feel that they really need a new starting caliber left back and feel that Luis is a better fit than any of the younger options available, then there's really no reason why they can't afford to meet his buyout in order to land the player. I'm not sure that's the case, but it's certainly not as silly a move as it appears at first glance.